Cellfie Mobile to Introduce 5G in Georgia as Sole Spectrum Bidder

Earlier this month Cellfie Mobile announced its partnership with Nokia to modernise its nationwide 4G network and pave the way for a 5G-ready network in the country.

Highlights

  • Cellfie Mobile secures exclusive rights to deploy 5G spectrum in Georgia.
  • Strategic collaboration with Nokia to modernize and upgrade existing 4G infrastructure.
  • Spectrum acquisition propels rapid and extensive 5G rollout across the nation.

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Selfie Mobile to Introduce 5G in Georgia as Sole Spectrum Bidder
Georgia's Cellfie Mobile stands as the sole mobile operator to secure the 5G spectrum during the recent spectrum auction in the country. The Communications Commission of Georgia (ComCom) declared "Cellfie Mobile" as the winner of the 5G auction for spectrum in the 700 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz frequency bands on August 17th. Additionally, ComCom announced that Cellfie Mobile emerged as the winner of the 5G Spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz frequency bands on August 24th.

Also Read: LMT Expands 5G Network, Covering 70 Percent of Latvia’s Population




Regarding the Spectrum licenses for the 2600 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, as per the terms of the Auction, the operator was obliged to permit a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on its own infrastructure to utilize the frequency resources acquired through the auction, and the telco would benefit from a 20 percent discount in this regard.

Cellfie Mobile Rebranding

In April 2023, the mobile operator Beeline in Georgia rebranded to Cellfie. The company name, as well as its corporate identity, transformed, with the primary colours now being pink and purple. In June 2022, Veon-Georgia, operating under the Beeline brand, was sold to a local Georgian partner in a transaction valued at USD 45 million.

Georgia 5G Spectrum Auction

On July 6th, the Communications Commission of Georgia announced the auction of the 5G mobile spectrum across the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2600 MHz, and 3.5 GHz (3400-3700 MHz) bands. A total of 24 lots were auctioned in phases between August 16 and August 23. Cellfie Mobile applied for the purchase of one combined lot in 700 MHz and 3500 MHz bands, two lots in the 2600 MHz frequency range and one lot in the 1800 MHz frequency range.

Also Read: Verizon, Ericsson, and MediaTek Successfully Trial 5G VoNR Sessions Using RedCap

The Communications Commission has announced four auctions for four combined abstract lots that differ in coverage obligations and price. Initial fees varied for each combined lot. Operators obtaining these frequencies are required to progressively cover densely populated areas, tourist spots, ports, airports, railways, and highways with the 5G network over the next 3-7 years.

As part of the terms and conditions of the 5G spectrum license, ComCom announced that, considering network development, companies obtaining the necessary frequency for 5G implementation would be obliged to permit a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on their network. Specifically, the license holder would be required to engage in negotiations with all operators interested in accessing the relevant network under fair and non-discriminatory terms.

After taking into account the comments from interested stakeholders, the Communications Commission announced an auction for one combined and two separate lots without MVNO obligation.

Frequency Benefits

The frequencies of 2600 and 3600 MHz provide high-speed Internet in urban areas, while the 700 and 800 MHz frequencies will be utilized to cover larger areas with lower population density, as per ComCom.

According to ComCom, MagtiCom and SilkNet chose not to participate in the auction, although their comments and opinions were taken into consideration. ComCom stated that these two companies collectively own more than 70 percent of the telecom market, and the new technology would be introduced in the country without their involvement.

1800 MHz and 2600 MHz Frequency Bands

ComCom announced an auction for four combined lots to implement 5G technology. Cellfie Mobile emerged as the winner of separate lots N18, N19, and N24, gaining access to the 2600 MHz (two lots) and 1800 MHz (2×5MHz) frequency bands. The fees for these lots were 226,800 GEL, 226,800 GEL, and 1,386,000 GEL, respectively. According to ComCom, Cellfie Mobile has one month to pay 30 percent of the designated amount to the state budget to obtain a license.

700 MHz and 3500 MHz Frequency Bands

Cellfie Mobile also secured the N2 combined lot, which included the 700 MHz (2×5MHz) and 3400-3600 MHz (1×50MHz) frequency bands. The fee for this combined lot amounted to 2,657,445 GEL. Similar to the individual lots, Cellfie Mobile has one month to fulfil the 30 percent payment obligation for the combined lot.

Also Read: Cellfie Mobile to Upgrade 4G Network and Introduce 5G-Ready Services in Georgia

Earlier this month, as reported by TelecomTalk, Cellfie Mobile announced its partnership with Nokia to modernize its nationwide 4G network and pave the way for a 5G-ready network in the country. With Cellfie Mobile now having acquired licenses to utilize the spectrum, the rollout of 5G is anticipated to occur rapidly.

The Communications Commission of Georgia shared the recommendation of the European Commission, according to which the possibility of establishing a discount for the use of radio frequency spectrum increased from 5-20 percent to 80 percent for wider penetration of Mobile networks.

Reported By

Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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